Jimmy and I were home less than two weeks from our summer family reunion trip in Boston when we heard from my youngest brother, Rob (age 59), that his health had been seriously compromised. This was mind-boggling to everyone in the family, including him, since he'd been the picture of health in June, riding his bike and playing sports with the young'uns. Each of us cried, "Impossible!" Sad to say, it was true.
He lives in Mobile, Alabama by himself, but now a hand or, better yet, four hands, would be helpful. Jimmy and I booked one-way tickets to Mobile and arrived Aug 7th -- one-way because we didn't know how long we'd be needed. We've been here two weeks today. He's been in and out of the hospital during these two weeks (and is currently in), but radiation treatments have begun, and we're hoping he'll be able to come home again soon. We're still not sure how long we'll stick around ... wait and see. We're working on readying his home to sell, if, in fact, that's what's necessary.
After hearing his news, our sister, Nannie, and Bil (then in Maine, on their own summer trip) were on their way to Mobile, when an intense low pressure system parked over southern Louisiana, and word came to them on Aug 13th that the river behind their place had risen to record levels, FLOODING their house! They'd lived in this house since 1980 and the river had never come close to their house. Their small community of Watson LA, received 31.39" of rain in three days from this system, bringing disaster to homes in eight parishes (counties). Disaster and heartache. You've probably seen the images. You can imagine receiving this news on top of all the other bad news. They pointed their camper toward Louisiana.
What are the chances of two brothers being stricken within a couple of months, and then Nannie's home with two feet of water inside? This has not been a particularly stellar year for our family, right from the first of the year. To quote my Boston sis-in-law, Anne, "It's a good thing we can't see the future or we would never enjoy the present day. Who would have thought all this would happen when you all were here in Boston enjoying your summer and traveling the country. The first shock was Rus, then Rob and then Mother Nature had to butt in."
The family is coping, and we are resilient, but the Louisiana disaster added complications to, well, everything. It'll be months before they'll be able to reoccupy their home (but they're very grateful to have their camper to live in meantime!). How this all plays out is a mystery right now.
Since Mobile is only a few hours from Baton Rouge (Watson) via I-10, Jimmy and I did a (long) day trip to my sister's yesterday, mainly for hugs and moral support, and to see how it all looked. While living in Tallahassee, he and I volunteered one weekend for home cleanups in Biloxi (or was it Gulfport?) MS after Hurricane Katrina, so we had a fair idea what to expect. Stuff heaped on the grass, ready for the dump. Stuff is just that: stuff, and it can be replaced, but when it's yours, it hurts. It hurts more to lose the treasures.
Nannie, me, and friend, Angie.